Friday, March 29
|4:00 - 6:00 p.m.||Welcome and Orientation||Dr. Maria Mangini, Dr. Janis Phelps, Dr. Cathy Coleman, Guest Teachers, and Teaching Assistants|
|6:00 - 6:45 p.m.||Welcome Reception for New Students in Desai | Matta Gallery|
|7:00 - 8:30 p.m.||Film: A New Understanding: Science of Psilocybin||Pre- and Post-Discussion by Dr. Bill Richards|
Saturday, March 30
|9:00 - 10:00 a.m.||A Short, Strange Trip: Psychedelic Political, Cultural, and Social History from Recognition to Criminalization||Dr. Maria Mangini|
|10:00 - 10:45 a.m.||Therapist Competencies and Therapeutic Processes: Science and Art||Dr. Bill Richards|
|10:45 - 11:00 a.m.||BREAK|
|11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.||Therapist Competencies and Therapeutic Processes: Science and Art, continued||Dr. Bill Richards|
|12:15 - 12:45 p.m.||House Group Discussions||Dr. Maria Mangini, Dr. Cathy Coleman, and Teaching Assistants|
|12:45 - 1:00 p.m.||Q&A on Program Requirements||Dr. Maria Mangini & Dr. Janis Phelps|
|1:00 - 2:15 p.m.||LUNCH with Teaching Assistants|
|2:15 - 4:15 p.m.||Mad Thoughts on Mushrooms: Discourse and Power||Dr. Jeffrey Guss|
|4:15 - 4:30 p.m.||BREAK|
|4:30 - 5:30 p.m.||Practical Matters in Session Guidance||Dr. Bill Richards|
|5:30 - 7:00 p.m.||DINNER|
|7:00 - 9:00 p.m.||A Comprehensive on Psilocybin: Current Treatment, Research and Implications for Scaling Worldwide
Certificate program students will be joined by the public for this presentation
|Dr. Brian Richards|
Sunday, March 31
|9:00 - 10:30 a.m.||Does Psychedelic Therapy Require a Therapy Platform? What Does a Psychedelic Therapist Do?||Dr. Jeffrey Guss|
|10:30 - 10:45 a.m.||BREAK|
|10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.||A Day in the Life of a Psychedelic Researcher||Dr. Alicia Danforth|
|12:00 - 12:15 p.m.||BREAK|
|12:15 - 1:00 p.m.||Weekend Closure and House Group Discussions||Dr. Yvan Beaussant, Dr. KD Meyers, and Teaching Assistants|
Friday, May 3
|4:00 - 5:00 p.m.||Welcome and small group discussions||Drs. Maria Mangini, Janis Phelps, Cathy Coleman, Guest Teachers, and Teaching Assistants|
|5:00 - 5:45 p.m.||Core Competencies and the Healing Presence of Therapist Guide: Didactic||Mary Cosimano, MSW, Johns Hopkins University|
|5:45 - 6:00 p.m.||BREAK|
|6:00 - 7:00 p.m.||Core Competencies and the Healing Presence of Therapist Guide: Didactic, cont'd||Mary Cosimano, MSW, Johns Hopkins University|
Saturday, May 4
|9:00 - 9:30 a.m.||History of the CIIS Certificate Program & our Affiliations||Dr. Janis Phelps, CIIS|
|9:30 - 10:30 a.m.||The Psychedelic Experience: Promises and Perils||Diane Haug, LPCC, Grof Transpersonal Training and CIIS|
|10:30 - 10:45 a.m.||BREAK|
|10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.||Holistic Support for the Voyage: Journeyers, Guides, and Beyond||Dr. Natalie Metz, CIIS|
|12:15 - 12:45 p.m.||Small Group Discussions||Teaching Assistants|
|12:45 - 1:45 p.m.||LUNCH|
|1:45 – 3:45 p.m.||Findings and Implications of Psychedelic Research for Emotional Distress Associated with Dying or a Life-Threatening Illness||Dr. Anthony Bossis, New York University|
|3:45 – 4:00 p.m.||BREAK|
|4:00 – 5:30 p.m.||Clinical Research with Hallucinogens: Lessons from the Past and Implications for the Future||Dr. Charles Grob, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center|
|5:30 - 7:00 p.m.||DINNER|
|7:00 - 9:00 p.m.||An Evening in Remembrance of Dr. Ralph Metzner
(Members of CIIS and the general public will join us for this tribute)
|Tony Bossis, Janis Phelps, Diane Haug, Charles Grob, Cathy Coleman, and Colleagues|
Sunday, May 5
|9:00 - 11:00 a.m.||Core Competencies and the Healing Presence of Therapist Guide: Experiential and Role-Play||Mary Cosimano, MSW, Johns Hopkins University|
|11:00 - 11:15 a.m.||BREAK|
|11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.||Core Competencies and the Healing Presence of Therapist Guide: Experiential and Role-Play, cont'd||Mary Cosimano, MSW, Johns Hopkins University|
|12:15 - 1:00 p.m.||Weekend Closure and Small Group Discussions||Dr. Maria Mangini and Lead Teaching Assistants|
|1:00 – 2:00 p.m.||LUNCH (for those staying for Ecstatic Music)|
|2:00 - 4:00 p.m.||Community Opportunity (optional): Ecstatic Music||Dr. Jenn Azure and Class Members|
Sunday, June 24 to Saturday, June 30
|3:00 p.m., Sunday to 2:00 p.m., Saturday||Retreat Intensive: Therapist Guide Training||Michael and Annie Mithoefer|
Friday, September 13
|3:00 - 4:00 p.m.||Room check-in and locals relax in atrium|
|4:00 - 5:30 p.m.||Welcome Orientation and small group discussions||Dr. Janis Phelps, Dr. Maria Mangini, Dr. Cathy Coleman and Teaching Assistants|
|5:45 – 7:15 p.m.||DINNER|
|7:30 - 9:00 p.m.||The Role of Grof Holotropic Breathwork in the Training of Future Psychedelic Therapists||Diane Haug & HB Team|
Saturday, September 14
|8:00 - 9:00 a.m.||BREAKFAST|
|9:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.||Holotropic Breathwork||Diane Haug & HB Team|
|12:30 – 2:00 p.m.||LUNCH BREAK|
|2:00 - 5:00 p.m.||Holotropic Breathwork (and mandala work)||Diane Haug & HB Team|
|5:00 – 6:00 p.m.||BREAK|
|6:00 - 7:15 p.m.||Small group sharing||Diane Haug & HB Team|
|7:15 - 9:00 p.m.||DINNER|
|9:00 - 10:00 p.m.||OPTIONAL: Movement Expressive Arts||Stacia Butterfield Mireya Alejo Marcet|
Sunday, September 15
|7:45 - 8:45 a.m.||BREAKFAST|
|8:45 - 10:45 a.m.||Integration of Holotropic Breathwork experience||Diane Haug & HB Team|
|10:45 – 11:00 a.m.||BREAK|
|11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.||The Braided Way||Patricia James|
|12:30 – 1:00 p.m.||Weekend closure||Diane Haug, Dr. Maria Mangini, & Dr. Cathy Coleman|
Friday, October 25
|4:00 - 4:15 p.m.||Orientation and Welcome||Dr. Janis Phelps, Dr. Maria Mangini, Dr. Cathy Coleman, Dr. Yvan Beaussant and Dr. KD Meyers|
|4:15 - 5:45 p.m.||Home Group Discussions||CPTR Teaching Assistants|
|5:45 – 6:00 p.m.||BREAK|
|6:00 - 7:15 p.m.||Impossible Paradoxes in the Usona PSIL201 Phase 2 trial of Psilocybin for People with Major Depression||Dr. Malynn Utzinger|
Saturday, October 26
|9:00 - 10:30 a.m.||Introduction to Usona Institute: Mission, Training, and Updates||Kristen Linton, RN and Dr. Malynn Utzinger|
|10:30 - 10:45 a.m.||BREAK|
|10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.||Experiential and Interactive Learning: High-dose Psychedelic-Assisted Sessions - Outline and Preparation||Karen Cooper, RN, and Dan Muller, MD|
|12:15 - 1:45 p.m.||LUNCH|
|1:45 – 3:30 p.m.||Role-plays of Psychedelic-Assisted Sessions – Four Scenarios||Karen Cooper, RN, and Dan Muller, MD|
|3:30 - 3:45 p.m.||BREAK|
|3:45 - 5:15 p.m.||Integration of Role-plays and Q and A||Karen Cooper, RN, and Dan Muller, MD|
|5:15 - 5:45 p.m.||Small Group Discussions||Dr. Janis Phelps, Dr. Maria Mangini, Dr. Yvan Beaussant and Dr. KD Meyers|
|5:45 - 7:15 p.m.||DINNER|
|7:15 - 9:00 p.m.||Marginalized Voices, Racial Trauma, and the Psychedelic Healing Movement (pre-viewed video) and In-Class Discussion||Dr. Monnica Williams (video) and Shirley Strong, Discussion Leader|
Sunday, October 27
|9:00 - 10:15 a.m.||Non-Profit Development of Psilocybin for Major Depression: Why it Matters and a Bit About What It Takes||Dr. Charles Raison|
|10:15 - 10:30 a.m.||BREAK|
|10:45 – 11:45 a.m.||Navigating the Landscape of Grief in Psychedelic Sessions||Andrew Penn, NP|
|11:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.||BREAK|
|12:00 – 1:00 p.m.||Closure and Home Group Discussions||Dr. Janis Phelps, Dr. Maria Mangini, Dr. Yvan Beaussant and Dr. KD Meyers|
Friday, December 6
|4:00 - 5:45 p.m.||Welcome and Small Group Discussions||Janis Phelps, Maria Mangini, Jeff Guss, KD Meyers and Yvan Beaussant|
|5:45 – 6:00 p.m.||BREAK|
|6:00 - 7:15 p.m.||Destigmatizing Psychedelic Therapy||Dick Simon|
Saturday, December 7
|9:00 - 10:30 a.m.||Pitfalls and Potentials of the Psychedelic Renaissance||Jamie Wheal|
|10:30 - 10:50 a.m.||BREAK|
|10:50 – 11:45 a.m.||Theoretical Reflections and Integrative Summary: Perspectives from Psychology, Philosophy, and Religion||Dr. William Richards (on live video conference)|
|11:55 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.||Home Groups Discussions|
|12:15 - 1:45 p.m.||LUNCH|
|1:45 – 4:15 p.m.||Role Play for Psychedelic Therapy||Dr. Jeffrey Guss|
|4:15 - 4:35 p.m.||BREAK|
|4:35 - 5:30 p.m.||Q and A/Open Discussion||Dr. Jeffrey Guss|
|5:30 - 6:30 p.m.||Course Intentions, Integration and Commitments||Dr. Janis Phelps|
|6:30 - 7:30 p.m.||DINNER|
|7:30 - 9:00 p.m.||
Come play together at the Student Party at Azúcar Lounge
|Offered by the Closure Weekend Committee|
Sunday, December 8
|9:00 - 9:45 a.m.||Dedications, Offerings and Presentations by class members||Organized the Student Closure Weekend Committee|
|19:45 - 10:15 a.m.||BREAK||Set up for Closure Ceremony|
|10:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.||Closure Ceremony -- Namaste Hall||Bob Jesse, Jeff Guss, Patricia James, Wendy Feng, Special Guests and Everyone|
|12:00 – 1:00 p.m.||Reception -- Desai | Matta Art Gallery (First Floor of CIIS)||All|
Click "More" to see full 2019 class descriptions and faculty bios.
Friday, March 29
A New Understanding: Science of Psilocybin
A New Understanding explores the treatment of end-of-life anxiety in terminally ill cancer patients using psilocybin to facilitate deeply spiritual experiences. The documentary explores the confluence of science and spirituality in the first psychedelic research studies with terminally ill patients since the 1970s.
Through the eyes of patients, their loved ones, therapists and researchers, A New Understanding examines the use of psilocybin in a controlled setting to reduce psychospiritual anxiety, depression, and physical pain. The treatment aims to help the patient understand that a 'good' death is possible, and to help the patient's family deal well with the dying process.
Saturday, March 30
A Short, Strange Trip: Psychedelic Political, Cultural, and Social History from Recognition to Criminalization
This lecture will discuss the early European and North American investigation of the psychoactive plants. Myths, misconceptions, and fallacies about psychedelics will also be explored, with particular emphasis on LSD before criminalization.
Mariavittoria Mangini, PhD, FNP, has been a family nurse midwife since 1985. She has written extensively on the impact of psychedelic experiences in shaping the lives of her contemporaries, and has worked closely with many of the most distinguished investigators in this field. She completed her doctorate in Community Health Nursing at UCSF, where her research centered on drug use and drug policy. She was the director of the MSN/FNP program at Holy Names University in Oakland for 20 years. Her current project is the development of a Thanatology program for the study of death and dying.
Therapist Competencies and Therapeutic Processes: Science and Art
This seminar will focus both on the "being" and "doing" of effective therapists in psychedelic research, and on methods for the development and strengthening of personal qualities and practical skills that are advantageous in the implementation of research projects. Sensitivity to the challenges of skillfully communicating in supportive ways when clients are experiencing a variety of alternative states of consciousness will be explored, as will the importance of one's own genuineness and capacity to maintain presence and openness to whatever experiential content may be expressed during entheogenic sessions.
William (Bill) Richards, STM, PhD, is a psychologist at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he and his colleagues have pursued research with entheogens for the past 19 years, and a clinician in private practice in Baltimore. His graduate training in clinical psychology and the psychology of religion included studies at Yale University, the University of Göttingen, Andover-Newton Theological School, Brandeis University, and Catholic University. After encountering psilocybin research in Germany in 1963, he contributed to psychotherapy research with LSD, DPT, MDA, and psilocybin at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center from 1967 to 1977. Columbia University Press published his seminal book, Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religious Experiences, in 2015.
Mad Thoughts on Mushrooms: Discourse and Power
This talk will be a close reading of Andy Letcher's insightful paper that explores the role of language and power in regulating who can speak and what can be said about psychedelic and psychedelic consciousness. Letcher draws on some basic concepts from Michel Foucault's writing to illuminate the multiple levels at which control of discourse affects what we can know, what we can study and what can be spoken aloud (and where).
Jeffrey Guss, MD, is a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and researcher with specializations in psychoanalytic therapy and the treatment of substance use disorders. He was Co-Principal Investigator and Director of Therapist Training for the NYU School of Medicine’s study on psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of cancer-related existential distress. He is currently a study therapist in a trial of psilocybin-assisted therapy for alcoholism and the MAPS MDMA for PTSD study, and co-wrote the therapy manual for Yale’s depression and psilocybin study. Dr. Guss is interested in the integration of psychedelic therapies with contemporary psychoanalytic theory and has published in Studies in Gender and Sexuality and Psychoanalysis, Culture, and Society. He is an instructor and mentor for the Center for Psychedelic Therapies & Research certificate program and maintains a full-time private practice.
Practical Matters in Session Guidance
This session will focus on the practical implementation of the principles surveyed earlier with careful reflection on the past experiences and current thinking that influence the structure of sessions during therapy with psilocybin.
Please see above for Dr. Richards’s bio.
A Comprehensive on Psilocybin: Current Treatment, Research and Implications for Scaling Worldwide
This lecture will provide a comprehensive overview of the history, pharmacology, and current treatment applications of psilocybin in research and outpatient/hospital protocols in the United States, with reference to European Union countries. Screening, preparation, set and setting, session process with case studies, and integration of patient experiences will be discussed.
Brian Richards, PsyD, earned his master's degree in Existential-Phenomenological Psychology at Duquesne University and his PsyD at University of Denver. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins Behavioral Pharmacology Research Center, where he continues in the Department of Psychiatry with psychedelic medicine studies. He is a Clinical Director of MedOptions in Maryland, and provides diagnostic psychological testing at Oasis, an acute outpatient center. Brian recently began work on psilocybin protocols for clinical research at Sheppard Pratt Hospital and the Aquilino Cancer Center. His research interests include mystical experience, accelerated self-actualization, and work with treatment refractory patients. He has a particular affinity for all the wild animals he cares for.
Sunday, March 31
Does Psychedelic Therapy Require a Therapy Platform? What Does a Psychedelic Therapist Do?
This talk will describe the therapy platforms used in the NYU Cancer Anxiety and Alcoholism Study as well as the Yale Depression Study. It will contrast a therapy model as conducted by a therapist with a more non-directive model that has the “inner healer” at its core and requires a guide or sitter, rather than a therapist. The therapist and therapeutic approach will be described as the “setting” aspect of the set and setting; there will be a focus on the therapist’s inner psychological milieu as a product of his/her/their experience in the healing arts and as a seeker of healing.
Please see above for Dr. Guss’s bio.
A Day in the Life of a Psychedelic Researcher
Currently, most psychedelic clinical researchers only spend several days or weeks each year facilitating medication sessions. Learn more about how they spend their time advancing the science the rest of the year. This talk will focus on the pragmatic aspects of running a psychedelic-assisted therapy Phase 1 or 2 trial from the approval process, through the treatment phase, and on to data analysis and publication.
Alicia Danforth, PhD, is a researcher and licensed clinical psychologist. She was the co-investigator for the first pilot study of MDMA-assisted therapy for the treatment of social anxiety in autistic adults. She began her work in psychiatric research with psychedelic medicines in 2006 as a coordinator and co-facilitator on the pilot study of psilocybin treatment for existential anxiety related to advanced cancer. Both studies were conducted at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. She currently is a lead clinician and supervisor for the pilot study of psilocybin-assisted therapy taking place at UC San Francisco for psychological distress and demoralization in long-term HIV/AIDS survivors. Alicia finds deep contentment living in the Redwood Forest among the trees, and she has a private psychology practice on the edge of the woods with a specialization in supporting older teens and adults on the autism spectrum in California’s Silicon Valley.
Friday, May 3
Core Competencies and the Healing Presence of Therapist Guide: Presentations and Experiential Learning through Demonstration, Role Play, and Discussion
In this class, Mary Cosimano will present on love, connection, authenticity, play, and therapeutic competencies in two related classes. Through discussion, demonstration, and role play with simulations based on actual psilocybin guide and study participant experiences, Mary will offer a powerful approach to allow students to personally experience and explore the roles of guide (therapist and co-therapist) and study participant in a non-threatening, supportive setting. This will cover the primary therapeutic competencies necessary for guiding psychedelic sessions. Experiential learning and practice via role-play will to be used to incorporate the demonstrations, information and techniques discussed. Dyad or small group sessions will provide an opportunity for debriefing, reflection, feedback, and to increase compassion and trust for themselves, each other, and the recommended therapeutic approach. Trainees will deepen their understanding of how to further develop their skill levels in these essential areas of psychedelic-assisted therapy. A question and answer period is planned as part of the presentations. Each student will be offered challenging opportunities to practice realistic skills that they might use in a psilocybin-assisted therapeutic setting. They will discover the strengths and limitations of their personal styles, cultivate their self-awareness and capacity for being a healing presence, and be offered impromptu ways to support mystical, spiritual, painful, blissful, disruptive, or quiet experiences of study participants. Students will be encouraged to speak with each other beyond the classroom about their experiences with death, loss, surrendering the ego and expectations, and how that might affect them and their future work in the field of research and therapy with entheogens.
Mary Cosimano, MSW, is currently with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She has served as study guide and research coordinator for the psilocybin studies for over 18 years. During that time she has been a session guide, involved with all the psilocybin studies and has conducted over 450 sessions. She has trained post doctorate fellows, research assistants and interns as assistant guides. She has administered the psychological evaluations for psilocybin studies as well as other studies in the Behavioral Biology Research Unit. In addition to her work with the psilocybin studies, she has been involved in the Salvia Divinorum, Dextromethorphan, and Club Drug studies conducted at Johns Hopkins. She taught individual and group meditation to breast cancer patients in a Johns Hopkins research study, and taught at California Institute to Integral Studies (CIIS) for their Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research program. In 2003 she started and has maintained a meditation group for employees in her department. She also has 15 years of experience with direct patient care as a hospice volunteer.
Saturday, May 4
History of the CIIS Certificate Program & our Affiliations
Founder of the certificate program in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research, Dr. Janis Phelps will give a brief history of the mission, vision, and strategic plan of the training program. She will describe the relationships that we have with all the research organizations in the U.S.: Heffter Research Institute, MAPS, Usona Institute, and Compass Pathways. A review of the main personnel of these organizations will be provided as well, so that students will have name recognition for their staff.
Janis Phelps, PhD, is a leader in the field of psychedelic therapy training as the Director of the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research. Dr. Phelps developed and launched the first academically accredited, professional training program for psychedelic therapy and research. Her current publication on training therapists is in the Journal of Humanistic Psychology: “Developing Guidelines and Competencies for the Training of Psychedelic Therapists”. She has written a chapter on the topic in the 2019 textbook by Michael Winkelman and Ben Sessa, editors, in Advances in Psychedelic Medicine: State-of-the-Art Therapeutic Applications. Dr. Phelps served as the Academic Dean at CIIS for the graduate departments in the school of social sciences and humanities. She has held U.S. university professorships master's and doctoral programs in clinical psychology, east-west psychology, and counseling psychology for 30 years. Janis has invested over 40 years researching the viability and global beneficial uses of psychedelic medicines for healing, enhanced well-being, and clinical applications. She teaches graduate courses in quantitative and qualitative research methods, mindfulness, Buddhism, and psychotherapy. She serves on the board of the Holos Institute and maintains a private practice in Mill Valley, CA. as a clinical psychologist.
The Psychedelic Experience: Promises and Perils
A new generation of psychedelic researchers and therapists are again examining the enhanced wellness, healing, creativity, and spirituality inherent in the psychedelic experience. During this class we will explore topics including the healing potential and especially, the perils, in working with strong psychoactive catalysts. Diane may have time to share a case study from her wealth of work in the field prior to the scheduling of the classic psychedelics and empathogens. Discussion with questions and answers will complete the class.
Diane Haug, MA, LPCC, is a licensed therapist and a senior member of the Grof Transpersonal Training (GTT) staff. Her background includes a decade of working with adults and children dealing with life-threatening illness. Over the last 25 years, she has been deeply involved with transpersonal psychology and the international breathwork community. Diane has taught GTT training modules including The Practice of Holotropic Breathwork; The Art and Practice of Integration; Shamanism: An Exploration of Traditional Wisdom; Living with Dying; and The Psychedelic Experience: Promises and Perils. Diane is an adjunct faculty member with both the CIIS CPTR certificate program (San Francisco, CA) and Southwestern College (Santa Fe, New Mexico). In March / April 2017, Diane helped staff the MAPS MDMA-Assisted PTSD Therapy Training Programs. She maintains a private practice that includes both individual and group work.
Holistic Support for the Voyage: Journeyers, Guides, and Beyond
Psychedelic therapy offers a unique and powerful vehicle for the exploration of consciousness, and while many experiences generate insight and healing, some can be quite challenging to the physical body, as well as have profound impact in the mental, emotional, spiritual, and other realms. The beneficial potential of these experiences may be optimized with intentional attention to parameters such as set and setting, quality and dosage of chosen medicine, working with an experienced guide, and proper preparation, integration, and support from natural medicine and holistic healthcare practices. The holistic paradigm assumes the integration of body, mind, and spirit, and seeks to encourage balance between all aspects of one's being. Holistic support through nutrition, supplements, herbs, sound healing, and more can help to optimize the psychedelic experience for journeyers, guides, and beyond.
Natalie Metz, ND, is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor, herbalist, and core faculty member in the Integrative Health Studies department at CIIS. She has a private practice in Oakland where she focuses on digestive and hormonal wellness with the support of plant medicine, homeopathy, and diet and lifestyle counseling. She is a lifelong student of dance, a lover of art, travel, and all things purple, and enjoys sharing her passion for life with the world. Please visit www.drnataliemetz.com.
Findings and Implications of Psychedelic Research for Emotional Distress Associated with Dying or a Life-Threatening Illness
This lecture will review the history and implications from psychedelic-generated mystical experience research to relieve the psychological, existential, and spiritual distress associated with cancer or at the end of life. Building upon research from over 50 years ago, NYU and Johns Hopkins University published findings from clinical trials in 2016 ( Journal of Psychopharmacology) demonstrating efficacy of a single psilocybin-generated mystical experience in helping individuals with cancer cultivate meaning, enhance existential and psycho-spiritual well-being, and foster a greater acceptance of the dying process with less anxiety. The landmark findings of a rapid decrease in depression, anxiety, hopelessness, and demoralization along with improvements in spiritual well-being will be presented. Subjective features of a mystical experience include unity, sacredness, transcendence, awe, ineffability, and an enhanced awareness of positive emotions including that of love. The psilocybin-generated mystical experience offers a novel therapeutic approach to promote meaning and openness to the mystery of death. A review of existential and psychological distress in palliative care will be presented along with a discussion of the phenomenology of mystical experience drawn from both the world’s religious traditions and psychedelic experience. Implications for the scientific study of psychedelics and mystical experience include the alleviation of end-of-life emotional distress, enhanced psychological well-being, treatment of myriad mental health disorders, and a deeper understanding for the study of meaning and spirituality.
Anthony P. Bossis, Ph.D. conducts FDA-approved clinical research with the psychedelic compound psilocybin at NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Bossis was director of palliative care research, co-principal investigator, and session guide on the 2016 psilocybin-cancer clinical trial and is lead investigator on a study evaluating psilocybin-generated mystical experience upon religious leaders. He is a training supervisor of psychotherapy at NYU-Bellevue Hospital Center and co-founder and former co-director of the Bellevue Hospital Palliative Care Service. He is editor (along with Charles Grob, MD) of a special series on psychedelics for the Journal of Humanistic Psychology. Dr. Bossis is a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine and maintains a private psychotherapy practice in NYC.
Clinical Research with Hallucinogens: Lessons from the Past and Implications for the Future
Dr. Charles Grob will discuss his experiences over the last 25 years conducting formal psychiatric research with MDMA, ayahuasca, and psilocybin. The significance to modern research of knowledge gleaned from indigenous use will be examined, as will the value of early pioneer investigations from psychedelic research in the 1950s and 1960s. Dr. Grob will describe his path to becoming a researcher in the field and the important lessons learned from previous generations as well as contemporary colleagues. The importance of establishing effective safety parameters will be examined, as will the future implications of the psychedelic treatment model to the practice of psychiatry and medicine. Dr. Grob will present a clinical case or two as illustrations of the type of treatment that he and his team have developed in their research.
Charles Grob, MD, is Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the UCLA School of Medicine and the Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. His longstanding interest in the history of psychiatric research with hallucinogens has generated an impressive history of conference presentations and publications in leading medical and psychiatric journals. Dr. Grob received the first FDA approval to carry out human research with 3,4- methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in the early 1990s. He has collaborated with Drs. Dennis McKenna and Jace Callaway on the Hoasca Project: research that explored the biochemical, physiological, and psychological impacts of long-term ayahuasca use in Brazil. From 2004 to 2008, Dr. Grob conducted an FDA-approved study examining the effects of psilocybin in advanced-stage cancer patients with severe anxiety. Results from this trial were published in the Archives of General Psychiatry in 2011. Dr. Grob, along with his colleague Dr. Alicia Danforth, recently concluded a pilot study of an MDMA treatment model for autistic adults with social anxiety. He is a founding board member of the Heffter Research Institute. Dr. Grob is the editor of Hallucinogens: A Reader, and the co-editor with Dr. Roger Walsh of Higher Wisdom: Eminent Elders Explore the Continuing Impact of Psychedelics and is working as Editor on a new book on contemporary views of psychedelic research.
An Evening in Remembrance of Dr. Ralph Metzner
This evening presentation is a tribute to the brilliant life and influential contributions of Dr. Ralph Metzner, esteemed scholar, practitioner, professor, and colleague. It was at Harvard in the early 1960s that Ralph worked closely with Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert, and became one of the true pioneers of the psychedelic movement. Over almost sixty years of rigorous study and scholarship Ralph became one of the leading authorities on understanding the range of effects and implications of psychedelics, exerting a tremendous influence on younger generations of consciousness researchers. During his long and fruitful career Ralph published 18 highly acclaimed books, the first in collaboration with Leary and Alpert in 1964, “The Psychedelic Experience: A Manuel Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead”, and his most recent published this year, “Searching for the Philosophers’ Stone: Encounters with Mystics, Scientists and Healers”. In 1975 Ralph joined the faculty of the California Institute of Asian Studies (later renamed the California Institute of Integral Studies), and was the Academic Dean from 1977 to 1989. In 1999 Ralph created the Green Earth Foundation, whose mission was dedicated “to the healing and harmonizing of relationships and the Earth”.
Charles Grob, Diane Haug, Janis Phelps, and Anthony Bossis, Moderator. A panel of colleagues of Dr. Metzner will be joined by other collaborators and students of Dr. Metzner in presentations and a celebration in honor of his life.
Sunday, June 24 to Saturday, June 30
Retreat Intensive: Therapist Guide Training
This retreat is an intensive introduction to the therapeutic approach used in clinical trials sponsored by MAPS and described in the Manual for MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (available at maps.org). We will begin with a brief review of the history of MDMA research, the results of completed clinical trials, the design of ongoing and planned research protocols, and the therapeutic principles set out in the Manual. After that introduction, the course will be centered around watching video from MDMA research sessions, pausing frequently for group discussion. Videos will include preparatory sessions, MDMA-assisted sessions, and integrative sessions, illustrating challenges that may arise and emphasizing the importance of preparation and integration, as well as set and setting. Participants will be encouraged to ask questions and to share their ideas about the nature of the therapeutic process and their personal reactions to watching the videos, some of which are emotionally intense. Time will be taken for self-care and group support. This week constitutes the Part B training of the MAPS training. Our students complete Part A of the training prior to the retreat. This represents two of the five trainings for MAPS certification.
Michael Mithoefer, MD, is a psychiatrist who specializes in treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with an emphasis on experiential methods of psychotherapy including Holotropic Breathwork and Internal Family Systems therapy. He and his wife, Annie Mithoefer, conduct MAPS-sponsored research into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. In 2008, they completed the first clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for people with treatment-resistant PTSD and are now conducting a similar study of military veterans, firefighters, and police officers with PTSD, as well as an FDA-approved study administering MDMA in a therapeutic setting to psychotherapists who have been trained to work in MDMA clinical trials. Michael is Medical Monitor for other MAPS-sponsored MDMA studies, and he and Annie conduct training for therapists who work in those trials. He is a Grof-certified Holotropic Breathwork practitioner, a certified Internal Family Systems therapist, and is board certified in psychiatry, emergency medicine, and internal medicine. Michael is Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina.
Annie Mithoefer, BSN, is a psychiatric nurse and Grof-certified Holotropic Breathwork practitioner who is also trained in Hakomi Therapy. She and her husband, Michael Mithoefer, have practiced in Charleston, South Carolina for 20 years using experiential methods of psychotherapy and self-exploration, including Holotropic Breathwork. They now focus on clinical research with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. They are co-therapists for MAPS-sponsored clinical trials, and they conduct training programs for other MAPS-sponsored researchers.
September 13 to 15
The Role of Grof Holotropic Breathwork in the Training of Future Psychedelic Therapists
This weekend workshop is an introduction to Holotropic Breathwork, a powerful method of self-exploration, personal transformation, and healing developed by Dr. Stan Grof and Christina Grof, leading pioneers in the field of transpersonal psychology. A highly experiential method, Holotropic Breathwork combines enhanced breathing, evocative music, focused bodywork, art, and group sharing to access and support the intrinsic wisdom of the body/psyche/spirit. By activating the unconscious and mobilizing blocked energies, Holotropic Breathwork mediates access to all levels of human experience including unfinished issues from our postnatal biography, traumatic physical or emotional events, perinatal memories, and a variety of transpersonal experiences. Holotropic Breathwork will clearly demonstrate the healing potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness. It will be of great value to practitioners training to assist in the emerging field of psychedelic therapy and research. Offering a hands-on experience that is both personal and professional, we recognize the time-honored truth that there is no better preparation for serving others than work on oneself.
Diane Haug, MA, LPCC, is a licensed therapist and a senior member of the Grof Transpersonal Training (GTT) staff. Her background includes a decade of working with adults and children dealing with life-threatening illness. Over the last 25 years, she has been deeply involved with transpersonal psychology and the international breathwork community. Diane has taught GTT training modules including The Practice of Holotropic Breathwork; The Art and Practice of Integration; Shamanism: An Exploration of Traditional Wisdom; Living with Dying; and The Psychedelic Experience: Promises and Perils. Diane is an adjunct faculty member with both the CIIS CPTR certificate program (San Francisco, CA) and Southwestern College (Santa Fe, New Mexico). In March / April 2017 Diane helped staff the MAPS MDMA-Assisted PTSD Therapy Training Programs. She maintains a private practice that includes both individual and group work.
Sunday, September 15
Braided Way: A Cross Cultural Approach to Integration
"When the Wisdom of the Sky and the Wisdom of the Earth are braided through the human heart, then there will be a rainbow of people." This prophecy of Indigenous Peoples speaks to the practice of braiding traditional and contemporary insights, creating something entirely new that embraces both rather than replacing one or the other. This experiential workshop with explore the use of ancient modalities (drumming, guided journeys, breath, mudras, etc.) and our growing knowledge from today's science and research to access and ground non-ordinary states. Discussion will include breakthroughs, how to make insights sustainable, and methods of taking action to bring about change. The group's experiences and questions will guide our exploration. Participants will achieve a deeper understanding of methods that can evoke integration of changing states of awareness and remembrance of the profound and sacred promise of life.
Patricia James , BA, is a Medicine Woman and cross-cultural expert. She is of Seminole heritage, and a traditionally trained Cheyenne Pipe Carrier and Priest. Her focus is on bridging ancient wisdom with our contemporary times, bringing practical application to the mystical, and to weaving a new “Braided Way” to live life well. Initiated in multiple indigenous spiritual traditions, Patricia has studied wisdom practices and is trained in modern healing modalities including breathwork and hypnotherapy. She compliments this knowledge with over two decades in public administration. Patricia maintains a private practice in the Bay Area that focuses on psycho-spiritual mentoring, integration, teaching, and workshops. She provides teachings and ritual-based ceremonies throughout the country.
Friday, October 25, 2019
Impossible Paradoxes in the Usona PSIL201 Phase 2 trial of Psilocybin for People with Major Depression
During this session, students will experience two different forms of guided meditations that will be useful not only for self-care (relaxation, attending to inner needs and desires, sharpening skills in inner focus) but also for experiencing in an introductory way state of consciousness that may contain elements of mystical experiences and psychological insights not unlike those which arise during psychedelic experiences and for experiencing an increased sense of compassion and connection with others. Thus, these meditations may be tools for students of psychedelic therapy to show up as healthfully and fully as possible to create a sound and supportive container the work of psychedelic therapy.
Malynn Utzinger, MD, Co-Founder and Director of Integrative Medicine at Usona Institute, is a family medicine physician and with post-doctoral fellowships in integrative medicine, preventive oncology research, and ayurvedic medicine. Prior to co-founding Usona with Bill Linton in 2013, Dr. Utzinger was the Director of Women’s Health at the Chopra Center in California and an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has been an integrative medicine consultant for Eileen Fisher and Group Health Cooperative and a physician in private practice in Madison, WI, Connecticut and NYC. She gained her early experience in integrative medicine as a student of Andrew Weil, MD and as a research associate for Dean Ornish, MD at the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in San Francisco and at the global healthcare non-profit, Planetree.
As an early advocate for holistic medicine within the medical establishment, Dr. Utzinger founded the first course in Complementary and Alternative Medicine for medical students and faculty at the University of Wisconsin in 1997 and was a founding member of the cohort of physicians who introduced to the UW Medical School Rachel Remen’s groundbreaking course, The Healer’s Art, a forum for students and faculty to explore the psycho-spiritual elements of being a physician. Guided by teachers including Jon Kabat-Zinn, James Gordon, Marty Rossman, Angeles Arrien, Jack Kornfield, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Ken Wilber, Genpo Roshi, Diane Hamilton and others from the fields of mind-body medicine and reflective practice, Malynn uses an Integral lens to approach both healing and research and the social, political, and cultural contexts in which they arise. Compassion and relationship-building are the common threads of her work.
Along with her role at Usona, Dr. Utzinger is the Director of Integrative Practices for the international life sciences company Promega. She completed her medical training, residency and fellowship (family medicine, integrative medicine and preventive oncology respectively) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she has been an assistant professor of Family Medicine and is a fellow in the School of Human Ecology. Malynn and her husband have one son and a tremendous extended family. Walking, wandering, running, gardening, dancing, nordic skiing and being with special people are her great medicines.
Saturday, October 26, 2019
Introduction to Usona Institute: Mission, Training, and Updates
Overview of the history of the Usona Institute and introduction to the Usona phase 2 research. The Usona PSIL201 trial is a randomized, controlled (double-blinded) study of a single 25 mg doses of psilocybin in a set and setting approach for adults aged 21-63 with major depression. As all FDA monitored trials, it strives to follow standardized procedures and achieve a high level of rigor in the conduct of the trial and processing of the results. At the same time, it is a trial which combines the study of a potential medicine with a non-manualized, non-directive, supportive therapy which is believed to increase safety and augment the power of the results through increasing the participants’ ability to make meaning of their dosing experience and to meaningfully apply insights to making life changes. Inherent in this study is the contradiction or tension between conducting a study according to the highest degrees of standardization possible while still supporting the individual, human experience. This talk will cover some of the aspects of the protocol in which these paradoxes arise and will engage students in a discussion about how such paradoxes are being handled in this study and might be handled in future studies.
Kristen Linton, BA., MS., is a licensed nurse based in Chicago, IL. She worked at Northwestern Memorial Hospital on a Hematology/Oncology Unit, specializing in Stem Cell Transplants until 2016. She graduated from the first Psychedelic Assisted Therapy Certification program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). She is currently working for Usona, a non-profit medical research organization that conducts and supports clinical research to further the understanding of the therapeutic effects of Psilocybin. Her role at Usona is the Clinical Facilitator Program manager. Her current role is to assist with the management and coordination of all Facilitator standardization and training for the multi-site registration trials.
Her passion is to help support end of life anxiety and depression through expanded states of consciousness. she is training to become a Holotropic Breathwork facilitator, a passion that she discovered while taking the CIIS certification course.
Malynn Utzinger. See Bio above.
Experiential and Interactive Learning: High-dose Psychedelic-Assisted Sessions
Dan Muller and Karen Cooper offer a powerful approach to allow students to personally experience and explore the roles of guide (therapist and co-therapist) and study participant in a non-threatening, supportive learning environment. Student participation and interaction will be central to the day. Through role play with real-time music and eyeshades and simulations based on actual psilocybin guide and study participant experiences. Each student will be provided challenging opportunities to practice realistic skills that they might use in a psychedelic-assisted therapeutic setting.
- Discover the strengths and limitations of student’s personal styles
- Cultivate student self-awareness and capacity for being a healing presence
- Practice intuitive and established ways to support a mystical, painful, blissful, disruptive, or quiet experience by the study participant or client
- Consider, and perhaps experience, potential relationship dynamics while working with co-therapist
- Allow students to consolidate the skills and knowledge they have learned thus far
Students will be offered opportunities to practice realistic skills that they might use in clinical and research settings to (1) discover the strengths and limitations of their personal styles; (2) cultivate self-awareness and increased capacity for being a healing presence; and (3) offer impromptu ways to support a mystical, spiritual, painful, blissful, disruptive, emotional, somatic, and/or quiet study participant experience. Dyad and larger group sessions will provide an opportunity for debriefing, reflection, feedback, integration, and to increase compassion and trust for themselves and each other. Students are encouraged to speak with each other beyond the classroom about their experiences and the potential effects on themselves and their clients/study participants in their future work in the field of research and therapy with psychedelics.
Karen Cooper, RN, BSN, MA, has been a Sub-investigator and Project Manager at the MAPS Fort Collins site since 2016. She was Lead Guide and Clinical Research Nurse for the University of Wisconsin’s Psilocybin Pharmacokinetic Study and served as the study trainer with the Usona Institute in Madison, WI from 2013-2016. She continues to enjoy serving as mentor, guest faculty, and member of the Advisory Board for the Certificate in Psychedelic Therapies and Research program at California Institute of Integral Studies and helped to launch their inaugural program. Karen’s Master’s in Holistic Health Education at John F. Kennedy University included a focus on transpersonal and somatic psychology; she’s a Licensed Bodyworker and Massage Therapist and certified yoga teacher, with current practices of meditation, Tai Chi, and fiber arts. An eclectic nursing background including prenatal and neonates to end-of-life hospice has supported her love for teaching, science, consciousness, psychology, society, psychedelics, and spirituality.
Her outside interests include gardening, exploring the natural beauty and outdoor activities near her home in Northern Colorado with husband Dan Muller.
Daniel Muller, MD., PhD, currently resides in Fort Collins, Colorado, working as a staff rheumatologist at the University of Colorado Health. He retired 3 years ago from his appointment as a tenured Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, he was on faculty for 25 years. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Rheumatology, and Holistic Medicine. He previously did research on the effects of meditation on the immune response. Most recently, he was a guide and supervising physician on the UW-Madison study of the pharmacokinetics of psilocybin. Dan has published over 40 articles in basic science immunology and is the author of several chapters on the role of integrative medicine in treating rheumatologic diseases and fibromyalgia. He has a personal practice of meditation since the 1970’s and earned his first-degree black belt in Shorin-Ryu karate in 1980. His self-care practices include meditation, road and mountain bicycling, spending time with his beautiful wife and co-teacher Karen Cooper, and writing his heretical blog:
Video Assignment: Marginalized Voices, Racial Trauma, and the Psychedelic Healing Movement
Trauma is caused by feeling profoundly unsafe – physically, emotionally, or spiritually – and is often the root of mental illness. Despite the misperception that PTSD is most commonly caused by a single event, for many people, simply existing in a society that marginalizes their identities is inherently and perpetually traumatic. Oppression, poverty, and discrimination can all contribute to traumatic experience at both individual and collective levels. These ongoing traumatic experiences – enhanced and compounded for people who exist at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities – are often under-diagnosed and thus under-treated. There is a vast potential for psychedelics to help heal trauma and move people toward wholeness. But how does that healing potential stand up to systemic oppression? Dr. Williams will discuss the traumatizing impact of life in America on people of color and the work being done at the MAPS-sponsored MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research program UConn site, which is focused on the traumas of people of color. This presentation will explore if and how psychedelics can contribute to healing the trauma that stems from racism and create a more just society.
This presentation video is uploaded on Canvas within the October weekend module. Students will watch this presentation and read the readings prior to coming to class. During class we will address issues raised by Dr. Williams, with critical thinking and an inquiry into the necessity of cultural competencies pertaining to work with psychedelic medicines. Class discussion directed and facilitated by Shirley Strong, former CIIS Dean of Diversity.
Monnica Williams, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the University of Connecticut in the Department of Psychological Sciences and the Department of Psychiatry. Prior to her move to Connecticut in 2016, she served as the Director of the Center for Mental Health Disparities at the University of Louisville in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. She also worked for four years at the University of Pennsylvania, where she received training from Dr. Edna Foa. Dr. Williams has published over 100 scientific articles on mental health and culture. Her current work includes unacceptable thoughts in OCD, the impact of OCD on intimate relationships, improving cultural competence in the delivery of mental health care services, assessment of race-based trauma, and interventions to reduce racial bias. She is principal investigator on a Phase 3 multisite trial for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, taking place at the University of Connecticut Health Center. She also gives trainings nationally for clinical psychology programs, scientific conferences, and community organizations.
Shirley Strong was CIIS Dean of Students for 3 years and then the Dean of Diversity for another 5 years. She is currently Executive Director of Diversity at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland. Shirley contributed to our CIIS community in improving the quality of student life as well increasing diversity and pluralism. Her initiatives evolved the quality of our curriculum, public programs and performances, grants and sponsored projects, and community service. We are honored to have the expertise of Shirley Strong in facilitating the class discussion of the presentation by Dr. Monnica Williams.
Sunday, October 27, 2019
Non-Profit Development of Psilocybin for Major Depression: Why it Matters and a Bit About What It Takes
This talk will address two interconnected topics: 1) the potential importance of developing a novel antidepressant on a non-profit basis; and 2) the type of study that is required to obtain FDA approval should results be positive.
In terms of the topic of importance, I will provide a high level overview of the strengths and shortcomings of current medication-based treatments for depression, highlighting the challenges these agents pose when they—in fact—do work for a patient, focusing on the interrelated topics of oppositional tolerance and tardive dysphoria. Following this we will discuss unique aspects of likely psilocybin delivery protocols (should the drug be FDA approved) that make it an especially attractive target for development on a not-for-profit basis. For a number of reasons, psilocybin turns out to be a challenging molecule to investigate using the type of study design that is standard for big pharma drug development and required by the FDA to gain their approval. In the remainder of this talk, we will examine how the Usona Phase 2 study design addresses these challenges, albeit imperfectly. My hope for this talk is that attendees will come away with an enhanced empathic understanding of what those of us who are working for FDA approval for psilocybin are up against and why we are doing things the way we are.
The remainder of this talk will focus on the protocol design of the about-to-launch Usona Institute Phase 2 study of single dose psilocybin for major depressive disorder.
Charles Raison, MD, is the Mary Sue and Mike Shannon Chair for Healthy Minds, Children & Families and Professor, School of Human Ecology, and Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, WI. Dr. Raison also serves as Director of Clinical and Translational Research for Usona Institute and as Director of Research on Spiritual Health for Emory Healthcare in Atlanta, GA. In addition, Dr. Raison has served as mental health expert for CNN.com for many years. Dr. Raison is internationally recognized for his studies examining novel mechanisms involved in the development and treatment of major depression and other stress-related emotional and physical conditions, as well as for his work examining the physical and behavioral effects of compassion training. More recently, Dr. Raison has taken a leadership role in the development of psychedelic medicines as potential treatments for major depression. The recipient of several teaching awards, Dr. Raison has received research funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Raison received the Raymond Pearl Memorial Award from the Human Biology Association “in recognition of his contributions to our understanding of evolutionary biocultural origins of mental health and illness.” With Vladimir Maletic he is author of “The New Mind-Body Science of Depression” published by W.W. Norton in 2017. Dr. Raison serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Navigating the Landscape of Grief in Psychedelic Sessions
Grief can be an unexpected but difficult visitor in important psychedelic experiences. Grief, when it arises, is often not just an intricate web of current and past losses, but also a realization of things we did not receive. This talk will draw from Francis Weller’s important, soulful cartography of grief to provide a map for understanding this landscape. The talk, deeply embedded in the arts and humanities, will suggest how to work with clients to articulate the different facets of the experience of grief.
Andrew Penn, MS, NP, is an Associate Clinical Professor of Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he teaches in the psychiatric nurse practitioner program and serves as an attending psych NP to the UCSF/San Francisco VA NP residency program. Prior to this, he practiced outpatient psychiatry with Kaiser Permanente for 13 years. For the last decade, he has served as a steering committee member for Psych Congress, the second largest general psychiatric conference in the United States where he has been able to bring information about psychedelic therapies to a large audience. He recently authored a chapter in a casebook on Positive Psychiatry, published by APA Press, about a patient he treated who was a subject in a MAPS-sponsored trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. He is a graduate of the second cohort of the CIIS Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research and is currently joining the UCSF site of the Phase 3 MAPP1 study on MDMA assisted therapy for PTSD as a study therapist.
Friday, December 6
Destigmatizing Psychedelic Therapy
Almost 50 years after prohibition, public impressions of psychedelics have been shaped by “Just Say No” and “Your Brain on Drugs.” Internalizing these messages triggers fear-inducing biases that prevent rationally understanding the possible personal and societal value of psychedelic medicines. Psychedelic therapists have an important role in communicating about and destigmatizing Psychedelic Therapy. Nuanced explanation of the science and potential benefits, as well as the potential risks, is critical in garnering broader public acceptance. Watch his TEDx Talk - The Most Dangerous Four-Letter Word in prep for discussion in class.
Dick Simon is an entrepreneur, social enterprise philanthropist, and catalyst for change. After 9/11, he co-founded the Peace Action Network (PAN) of YPO, a network of over 29,000 CEOs in more than 135 countries, to convene top business leaders to address conflict resolution on local and global levels. Simon also created the kNOw THEM Initiative to raise awareness about THEM, the most dangerous four-letter word in the English language. He founded and chairs the YPO Psychedelic Medicines for Mental Health Group and works with organizations pursuing FDA and EMA clinical trials of psychedelic medicines to treat mental health. In addition, he is creating communities of young researchers and therapists working with these medicines, and projects to shift public perspective and reduce stigmatization related to this work. www.dicksimon.com
Saturday, December 7
Pitfalls and Potentials of the Psychedelic Renaissance The discussion is focused on challenges of weaponization, hedonization, and commodification, along with ways to successfully navigate the momentum and possibilities of this compelling movement. New York Times bestselling author Steven Kotler and high performance expert Jamie Wheal spent four years investigating the revolution in consciousness exploration and innovations —from the home of SEAL Team Six to the Googleplex, the Burning Man festival, Richard Branson’s Necker Island, Red Bull’s training center, and the United Nations’ Headquarters. Jamie’s videoed presentation at Awakened Futures, May, 2019, outlines the multi-faceted hazards of complacency and willful ignorance among those in the psychedelic research and therapy field. Before class, watch his video, which he will discuss and elaborate on into far-reaching implications.
Jamie Wheal is the Executive Director of the Flow Genome Project, where he leads a team of the world's top scientists, athletes and artists dedicated to mapping the peak-performance state of Flow. He is the co-author of the bestselling book Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live. A leading expert on the neuro-physiology of human performance, he combines a background in expeditionary leadership, wilderness medicine and surf rescue with over a decade advising high-growth companies on strategy, execution and leadership.
Theoretical Reflections and Integrative Summary: Perspectives from Psychology, Philosophy, and Religion
Designed to facilitate further integration and solidification of the experiential and didactic content explored in our program, potentially important concepts will be reviewed along with discussion of their theoretical and practical relevance. Reflection on unanswered questions on the entheogenic frontier and consideration of future research opportunities will be welcomed. Dr. Richards may include a summary of the emerging principles intrinsic to the design and implementation of effective investigations with psychedelic substances. This is another flip class, so before we meet, watch Bill’s video on Canvas and come ready to discuss.
William (Bill) Richards, STM, PhD, is a psychologist at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he and his colleagues have pursued research with entheogens for the past 17 years, and also a clinician in private practice in Baltimore. His graduate training in clinical psychology and the psychology of religion included studies at Yale University, the University of Göttingen, Andover-Newton Theological School, Brandeis University, and Catholic University. After encountering psilocybin research in Germany in 1963, he pursued psychotherapy research with LSD, DPT, MDA, and psilocybin at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center from 1967-1977.
Role Play for Psychedelic Therapy
This exercise, lasting about 2.5 hours, offers an accelerated experience of preparatory therapy, guiding a session, integration work and then supervision of the experience. We will divide into groups of three; each triad will have a therapist, a journeyer and a witness. Each journeyer will have a written scenario to work from, and the therapist will do preparatory work as the journeyer enacts their character. A journey of about 20 follows, then aftercare/debriefing. The witness watches everything and provides feedback at the end of the exercise, and when all reconvene, there will be a group discussion of the experience, focusing on the personal values and qualities we each hope to bring to this work. This will be followed by small group discussions.
Jeffrey Guss, MD, is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst with specialization in addictive disorders and psychotherapy. He is co-principal investigator and the Director of Therapist Training for the NYU Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety Project. Dr. Guss is developing a model for training therapists to undertake cancer-related therapy trials, as well as imagining clinical practice with psilocybin-assisted therapy. He maintains a psychotherapy-based practice in New York City and is a graduate of the NYU postdoctoral program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis.
Course Integration, Commitments and Summary
This final session will focus on a presentation by Janis Phelps of the highlights of the learnings from the year in this 2019 class incubator of future psychedelic-assisted therapy researchers, clinicians and clergy. You will bring a one sentence statement of your original intention for the training program. You will also bring a precise statement of one or two actions (one sentence for each action step) that you will commit to take after you graduate in order to integrate and further develop your new insights and skills gained in the program. We will then divide into home groups for your peers to witness your statement of commitments.
Janis Phelps, PhD, is professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), San Francisco, CA. She served as the Dean of Faculty at CIIS for the graduate departments in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. A licensed clinical psychologist, she has held faculty positions in the East-West Psychology graduate program (founded by Alan Watts) and clinical psychology doctoral program. She is currently the founder and director of the CIIS Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research, which conducts the first academically accredited, professional certificate training program for psychedelic-assisted therapy and research. Dr. Phelps is a board member of the Heffter Research Institute, which has conducted psilocybin research since the 1990’s. Her recent publications focus on the competencies and training of therapists in psychedelic-assisted therapies (article in Journal of Humanistic Psychology and chapter in Advances in Psychedelic Medicine, edited by Winkelman and Sessa). Dr. Phelps is contributing to the development of a national accreditation board for therapists and to methods of scaling effective training programs to meet the burgeoning need for well-trained mental health and medical professionals in the field of psychedelic medicine. Dr. Phelps maintains a private practice in Mill Valley, CA.
CIIS Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research
1453 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: (415) 575-6243
We are an academic program, and we are not able to provide therapist referrals at this time.